Seminole State partners with Duke Energy for new campus solar array

New solar array provides energy and learning opportunities for the College and its students.

Thursday, February 18, 2021
Written by: Emily Hollingshead

Seminole State College of Florida is getting a power boost and installing a new solar array on its Robert & Jane Lee Campus at Oviedo. The new solar array was made possible through a $94,000 grant from Duke Energy.

“This facility will provide Seminole State College of Florida firsthand experience in solar systems,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “It’s an opportunity to provide faculty and students a real-world learning environment, while we develop alternative energy solutions for Duke Energy Florida customers.”

(L-R) Seminole State Facilities Energy and Sustainability Manager James Miller, Duke Energy Community Relations Manager Patty D’Alessandro, Duke Energy Regional Director for Large Accounts Management Sharon Arroyo, Duke Energy Senior Large Account Representative Ryan Speaks and Seminole State Vice President of Resource and Economic Development Dr. John Gyllin.

The system is being constructed by Ocala-based company Solar Trek and is a combination of roof and ground mounted panels that measures approximately 2,075 square feet, including 96 individual panels.

Construction has begun and is expected to be completed in March.

“A solar array of this size can produce enough energy each year to power an electric car for 190,000 miles. That is more than seven and a half times around the Earth!” said Seminole State Facilities Energy and Sustainability Manager James Miller. “This system is projected to save the College more than $125,000 in energy bills over the next 20 years and to avoid roughly 16 million tons of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.”

The benefit goes beyond just the financial however, as the solar array will act as a learning tool for Seminole State faculty and students. As part of this project’s educational value, the College plans to include an online, publicly accessible dashboard with live data about the array’s electrical production.

“This is more than just a cost-saving measure, it is also an opportunity to promote sustainability on campus. We are pleased to provide faculty and students the chance to be a part of this long-lasting renewable project, said Dr. John Gyllin, Seminole State’s vice president of resource and economic development and executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State College. “We are also proud to have been awarded this grant through our strong partnership with Duke Energy and look forward to future collaborations.”

Seminole State College strives to create an institutional culture of sustainability and a community of practice dedicated to the long-term social, economic and environmental wellness of our college and community.

About Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit
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About the Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at